Distributor complaints have forced 3Com to put its house in order and address problems with late targets and poor communication.
The changes will be implemented by John Sedzikowski, who took over as systems distribution manager three weeks ago, a position that had been vacant since Richard Pitt left for Netmanage in February.
In those three weeks, Sedzikowski has been pulling together a department hit by staff shortages and poor management, a source said.
The lack of organisation within 3Com has led to channel problems, with distributors accusing the company of a lack of support, poor contact with account managers, and unpaid rebates (PC Dealer, 7 August).
Many distributors blamed high staff turnover in recent months. A source at Frontline said: 'There has been a lack of continuity at 3Com and account managers leaving has added to the problems with rebate agreements.'
Peter Rigby, manager of the advanced products group at Merisel agreed.
'Because of communication problems at 3Com, no one ever knows what the targets are.'
One source at a systems distributor blasted the firm. 'It is no wonder some distributors have problems hitting targets when they are set a few months into the quarter. There needs to be strong management and radical changes at 3Com. It just cannot keep ducking the issues,' he said.
Sedzikowski said the problems were a thing of the past and that the distribution departments would be fully staffed by September. 'It is not just a question of staff numbers, but how the staff are managed.
'Distributors will not be able to say they never see their account managers any more, as they will be out with their accounts 90 per cent of the time. You cannot manage an account from behind a desk.'
Targets for Q1, Q2 and Q3 should be out by the end of August, although Sedzikowski admitted that targets for Q1, which started in June, were set only two weeks ago.
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